What are the most scenic train rides in the UK for autumn foliage?

As the heat of the summer subsides and the leaves begin to turn, the United Kingdom transforms into a spectacle of vibrant hues. The rust-colored landscapes and crisp autumn air offer the perfect backdrop for a relaxing train journey. From the verdant valleys of Wales to the dramatic highlands of Scotland, there are plenty of scenic railway lines that offer breathtaking views of the country's dazzling fall foliage. Come and explore some of the most mesmerizing train tours across the UK known for their autumn splendor.

The Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland

The Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express to Harry Potter fans, offers one of the most dramatic and beautiful train rides in the world. This vintage steam engine takes you on a journey across the rugged western coast of Scotland, offering stunning views of the country's coastline, glens, and mountains.

The train departs from Fort William, a town nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain. The journey covers the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, which overlooks the picturesque Loch Shiel. In autumn, the surrounding landscapes are decked in shades of orange, red, and gold, offering a magical experience.

The Jacobite Steam Train travels all the way to the fishing port of Mallaig. On the way, it passes through Morar, where you get a glimpse of the glistening sandy beaches. This journey offers you the opportunity to take in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands in all its autumnal glory.

The Settle to Carlisle Railway, England

The Settle to Carlisle Railway offers a 73-mile journey across the spectacular landscapes of Northern England. This route, known for its Victorian architecture, offers panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. The autumn season adds a touch of magic to this journey, with the golden hues of fall foliage enhancing the scenic beauty.

The journey starts from the quaint town of Settle, passing over the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, offering a stunning view of the Three Peaks. As the train cruises through the North Pennines, you can witness spectacular landscapes awash with autumnal colors.

This train ride offers a breathtaking view of the Eden Valley before reaching its final destination, the historic city of Carlisle. This railway journey is not only an opportunity to witness England's beautiful autumn scenery but also a journey back in time with its historic stations and Victorian constructions.

The Heart of Wales Line

The Heart of Wales Line offers you a 120-mile journey through some of the most scenic landscapes of Wales. The train takes you from Shrewsbury, England's most Tudor town, to Swansea, the second-largest city in Wales.

This journey encompasses a wide range of landscapes, from verdant valleys, rolling hills, and forested areas to picturesque villages, castles, and a coastal stretch. The autumn season paints the foliage in stunning hues of golden yellow, warm orange, and rich red, enhancing the charm of the entire journey.

You'll pass through Llandeilo, known for its Georgian buildings, and Llandovery, a market town steeped in history. The train also crosses the Loughor Estuary, offering spectacular views of the Gower Peninsula. The Heart of Wales Line is more than just a train journey; it's an unforgettable experience that showcases the diverse landscapes of Wales in all their fall finery.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, England

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway operates a fleet of vintage steam and diesel trains through the heart of the stunning North York Moors National Park. The journey covers 24 miles from the bustling market town of Pickering to the historic port of Whitby.

The scenic landscapes of the national park are a sight to behold during the autumn season. The expansive moorlands are a riot of warm colors, from the rusty tones of ferns to the golden hues of birch and oak trees. The journey also offers stunning views of the Esk Valley and the Yorkshire Coast.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a trip down memory lane, offering a chance to experience the golden era of travel. The sight of the steam engine, the nostalgic whistle, and the cozy vintage carriages, all set against the backdrop of beautiful autumn scenery, make this an unforgettable train ride.

The Dartmouth Steam Railway, England

The Dartmouth Steam Railway offers a seven-mile journey between the coastal town of Paignton and the picturesque village of Kingswear. This route takes you along the stunning South Devon coastline and across the beautiful Dart Valley.

The journey offers stunning views of the English Riviera, a stretch of coastline known for its stunning beaches, and the Dartmouth Castle. The fall season enhances the scenic beauty of this journey, with the surrounding landscape adorned in autumn colors.

The Dartmouth Steam Railway offers a unique perspective of England's coastal beauty, accentuated by the warm hues of autumn. The train ride, paired with a river cruise on the River Dart, makes this an unforgettable experience for those who wish to witness the UK's fall foliage in all its glory.

The UK's diverse landscapes offer a plethora of scenic train journeys, especially in the autumn season. These train tours offer a unique perspective of the country's natural beauty, enhanced by the warm hues of fall foliage. Whether you wish to explore the rugged highlands of Scotland or the picturesque coastline of South Devon, there's a train journey to suit every preference. So, hop on and let the UK's autumn beauty unfold before your eyes.

The West Highland Line, Scotland

For those seeking a spectacular view of Scotland's fall colors, the West Highland Line is a must-visit. This scenic railroad operates between Glasgow and the highland towns of Oban and Mallaig, offering stunning views of lochs, mountains, and moors.

The West Highland Line's journey begins in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city known for its vibrant culture and concerts events. As the train chugs on, passengers can marvel at the picturesque Loch Lomond, the largest lake by surface area in the UK, and the dramatic landscapes of Rannoch Moor. The deep golds and fiery reds of the autumn foliage reflect beautifully on the water, enhancing the scenic beauty of these locations.

One of the highlights of this rail trip is the journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, offering a panoramic view of the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel. This is also where you can spot the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter series, making its way over the viaduct.

The West Highland Line is often considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, and it's easy to see why. The dramatic change of scenery from city to highlands, coupled with the stunning fall colors, makes this journey an unforgettable experience.

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Wales

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways offer a unique perspective of Snowdonia's mountainous landscapes. The Ffestiniog Railway is the world's oldest narrow-gauge railway, with a rich history dating back to 1832. The Welsh Highland Railway, on the other hand, is the UK's longest heritage railway.

The Ffestiniog Railway starts its journey at the harbor town of Porthmadog, traveling through the lush forests of Coed y Bleiddiau and the picturesque village of Tan y Bwlch. The changing fall foliage adds a touch of magic to the journey, painting the landscape in warm autumn hues.

The Welsh Highland Railway, alternatively, takes you on a round trip from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. This journey offers stunning views of the Aberglaslyn Pass, Beddgelert village, and the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The vibrant autumn colors reflect beautifully on the river, creating a stunning spectacle.

These heritage railways offer a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. The changing fall colors add an extra layer of charm to the journey, making it a must-visit during the autumn season.


The UK offers a host of scenic train rides that showcase the country's stunning landscapes draped in autumn colors. From the rugged highlands of Scotland to the verdant valleys of Wales, each journey offers a unique perspective of the country's natural beauty. These train rides are not only a treat for the eyes but also a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the country's rich history and culture.

Whether you fancy a trip down the most scenic railways, want to embark on river cruises, or simply wish to admire the fall foliage, there's something for everyone. So, next time you're planning your holiday types, consider embarking on one of these scenic train journeys. The beauty of the UK's autumn scenery, viewed from the comfort of a steam train, is an experience you won't forget.

So, why wait? Plan your visit, and let the UK's autumn beauty unfold before your eyes. You can check duration hours, map accommodation, main menu, and days per person view details on our website. With the enchanting fall colors and the timeless charm of steam railways, your autumn holiday in the UK is sure to be memorable. Happy journey!